When we look for a supplier to help us deliver a project to one of our clients, we all know how important it is to find someone we can really rely on and trust.
Alignment between our values and standards and the supplier’s is key. If we can find a company who shares these, we have an excellent chance of building a successful partnership.
This is the case with our client Sponge UK. They are an award winning, leading European digital learning company who provide an extensive range of e-learning services to global brands and organisations including Tesco, GlaxoSmithKline, the United Nations and Toyota.
They chose Comtec as their translation partner because they trust us to deliver the service they need for their clients.
Below I outline our approach and how we deliver e-learning translation services to clients like Sponge UK. If your company is looking for a translation partner to support your multinational clients read on…
Understanding e-learning clients and end users
To provide high quality translation and localisation services to e-learning clients like Sponge UK, a bespoke approach is required. Just as Sponge UK tailors their services to their client, we – the translation provider – also need to tailor our services to their clients.
As a growing global business Sponge UK’s list of multinational clients is constantly expanding. Currently they require translations in approximately 50 different languages, but their language requirements are ever evolving as their existing clients enter new markets or clients come on board with different language needs.
Louise Pasterfield, Managing Director of Sponge UK says: “It’s about more than translation though, it’s about understanding the needs of the forward-thinking businesses we are working with and supporting us in pushing the boundaries of what is possible with workplace learning.”
E-learning projects can be very complex, including translation of content and artworking of graphics, together with localisation of audio content, involving voiceover and subtitling. The subject matter for e-learning content can also vary greatly, from health & safety information to customer services training. This requires specialist knowledge of particular industries and the related terminology.
Each e-learning project can also include many different components. For example Sponge UK’s award winning ‘Leap Learning’ campaign for Tesco involved e-learning modules, a communications campaign, refresher learning and an interactive leader board, all requiring translation for 11 different countries.
Our approach is to have a single point of contact, a project manager, who handpicks linguists with the right expertise for the project; has an in depth understanding of the client and end user; and maintains consistency and high standards throughout the project.
They are also responsible for ensuring projects are delivered on time. The Leap Learning campaign for Tesco had to be delivered in a very short time frame, and therefore it was essential we streamlined the translation project to make it as seamless as possible.
Our aim is to make translation projects easy for our clients, especially when they are managing a complex campaign on behalf of their client. So we worked with Sponge UK to develop straightforward processes for reviewing translated content, ensuring that documents were accessible and easy for Tesco to review, and minimising the number of steps between all parties.
Standards and values
Another factor that I believe is essential when partnering with a translation services provider is that there is alignment between their standards and values, and yours. If your business prides itself on its high standards, excellent service, quick response times etc., you need a partner who shares these values. Any disparities between your expectations and what they deliver can quickly derail a translation project and sour the relationship.
Sponge UK and Comtec soon discovered that we share the same values and drive to give our customers an excellent experience and tangible results. These shared values have provided a strong foundation to build our partnership on.
Businesses that have regular demand for translation services should be looking to partner with a translation provider in the long term. The benefit of this is that the service provider can really get to understand your business, expectations and values, as well as those of your clients. Moreover, technology such as translation memory is most effective when used repeatedly, and it not only helps to ensure consistency and quality but also reduces translation time and saves money.
I think that building long term relationships and working in partnership with providers like translation agencies is beneficial for all parties, as Louise at Sponge UK says: “Our focus is on helping our clients maximise their productivity through inspired digital learning and this often means being able to engage with employees around the world. We are working with many more clients that operate globally so high quality localisation is vital. Our ambition is to be a world leader in learning technologies innovation and Comtec is playing an important role in helping us achieve that.”
6 essential qualities of an e-learning translation partner
To recap. In my view the following qualities are what you should be looking for when engaging with translation services providers for e-learning projects:
- A clear alignment with your organisation’s standards, expectations and values
- A forward-thinking approach to helping your company achieve its business objectives
- An understanding of your clients and how your services will support your clients’ goals
- The ability to manage complex projects and reduce your project management burden
- Specialist linguistic expertise to ensure the right translation team is in place with the relevant specialist knowledge
- A breadth of translation services and technical expertise, the ability to handle all elements of the localisation process including desktop publishing, voiceover, subtitling etc.
For further details on Sponge UK and the digital learning services which they offer please visit www.spongeuk.com.